Acclaimed songwriter Desmond Child says he was hurt when KISS publicly badmouthed his collaboration with the band, "I Was Made For Lovin' You".
Although "I Was Made For Lovin' You" was a huge chart success for KISS 40 years ago, it was maligned by many of the group's fans who didn't appreciate the track's disco beat.
During a recent appearance on the "Talk Is Jericho" podcast, Child said that he wrote "I Was Made For Lovin' You" with Paul Stanley after befriending the KISS frontman in the late '70s.
"I was experimenting then with a drum machine, and the idea of having dance beats with rock had occurred to me," Desmond recalled. "So I kind of hoodwinked him into this idea of four-on-the-floor dance beat with these heavy guitars. Gene [Simmons, KISS bassist/vocalist] never bought it — he never liked it, [and] he [still] doesn't.
"I remember when they made a record — I think it was [1981's] '[Music From] 'The Elder'' — and they started doing hundreds of interviews saying, 'Well, this time, we're putting guards in front of the door to keep Desmond Child out,'" he continued. "And I was so hurt. I called Paul and I said, 'Paul, why don't you criticize your enemies, not the friends that put money in your pocket?' And he says, 'Well, you know, that's Gene — it's not me.' So, the next day I came home and there was a message on my answering machine. And it was, like, 'Hi. It's Gene. Sorry.' And he hangs up. [Laughs] That was his apology."
According to Child, he and Simmons eventually reconciled. "After all these years, he's been an amazing friend and supporter and, actually, mentor," Desmond said.
"I Was Made for Lovin' You" originally appeared on KISS's 1979 album "Dynasty". It was released as the A-side of their first single from the album. It was the band's second gold single, selling over 1 million copies. The single reached No. 11 on the U.S. Billboard singles chart. The song also became a Top 10 hit in Australia, reaching No. 6 on the ARIA charts in 1979. The song fared the best in Western Europe (Where it became a Top 20 hit in Sweden, a Top 10 hit in Norway, made it to the No. 2 position in France, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, and in Holland it became a No. 1 smash).
Last year, Simmons said that he hated performing "I Was Made For Lovin' You" because he is forced to sing like his grandmother. Asked in an interview with OK! magazine to name a song that he wasn't initially crazy about that ended up becoming a hit, Gene said: "Well, Paul Stanley comes in and he says, 'Did you write any songs?' I go, 'Oh, yeah. I've got one called 'Almost Human'.' 'Yeah? How does it go?' 'I'm almost human. I can't help feelin' strange.' 'Yeah, that's cool. That's a Gene song.' 'How about you, Paul?' He goes, 'I've got one. [It goes] 'Tonight.'' "Ooooh. That's cool. What's the next line?' 'I'm gonna give it all to you.' 'Oh, yeah. I know what 'it' means — I know exactly what you mean.' 'In the darkness.' [Claps] 'Love that!' 'There something I wanna do.' 'Yeah, I know what that 'something' is. Wow! That's a cool song. Okay, what's my part?' [Sings] 'Do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do.' 'You're killing me. Really? I'm gonna sing like my grandmother?' [Sings] 'Do, do, do…' I hate playing that song to [this] day. Stadiums full of people jump up and down like biblical locusts — they go nuts — with tattoos and grills on… 'Ahhhh!' They're all jumping up and down, and I'm going, 'Do, do, do, do, do, do… Kill me now.' Still — still to this day I hate that song."
After the female interviewer pressed him on whether the song ever grew on him after performing it for the last four decades, Gene said: "Well, how about you sing that song? You're a girl. I wanna sing guy stuff."
Stanley admitted in 2017 that the success of "I Was Made For Lovin' You" was "a double-edged sword, because it became such a massive hit but it was also so contrary and contradictory to what we had done before." He added: "The funniest thing is when we do festivals sometimes in Europe where it's very much… the bands are quite heavy, well, when we do an encore of 'I Was Made For Lovin' You', you suddenly have all these people with spikes in their eyeballs or bones through their noses singing along. So it's a song that seems to transcend everything — although it went through a period, certainly, of a big backlash against it."